Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Leadership Academy

First Five Nebraska is pleased to announce the return of the Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Leadershp Academy (PLA) following the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


What is the Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Leadership Academy?

This non-partisan initiative is designed to help citizen-leaders better understand the policy-making process and develop their skills as advocates for public policies that support development of young children. As a participant in this program, you will:

  • Learn more about how early childhood fits within  your community's social, educational and economic structure
  • Better understand how decisions are made in local government, the Nebraska Legislature and state agencies
  • Identify and engage with the people who make and influence policy decisions in your community and legislative district
  • Network, exchange ideas and collaborate with other champions for early childhood policy throughout the state

What is involved?

The 2021/2022 Policy Leadership Academy consists of four, in-person meetings in multiple locations throughout the state every other month from September 2021 through March 2022. Each meeting includes an opportunity for members to meet and network on the evening before the full-day session. 

Class members will receive a stipend to cover expenses associated with attending each meeting, including mileage, meals and accommodations. As part of receiving the stipend, you will be required to provide your Social Security Number for 1099 tax filing requirements. 

An application submitted for the 2021-2022 program represents a good-faith commitment to participate fully in all scheduled meetings


2021/2022 Class Schedule*

September 14-15, 2021 
Class 3 of the Academy launches with a special 2-day event featuring a welcome dinner and orientation, followed by a day-long session on making the case for early childhood with influencers and decision makers in your community.

November 10, 2021 
Learn how policy and funding decisions are made in the legislative, administrative and executive divisions of state government. We will also discuss ways to build productive conversations with policymakers. 

January 12, 2022 
Broken Bow

A look at local municipal structures -- city government, schoool boards, local chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, etc. -- and how they factor in conversations about early childhood policy. 

February 15-16, 2022

Class 3 concludes with another 2-day event in the state capital, including a graduation dinner and networking opportunity followed by a day the the Nebrska Legislature and a visit with your district senator.

* Session topics may be subject to change

For meetings 2 (Sidney) and 3 (Broken Bow), PLA members are encouraged to meet for dinner and networking the evening prior to the full-day session. 

Who should apply?

Participants in the Academy are selected primarily from locations participating in Nebraska Children and Families Foundation's Communities for Kids initiative. Applicants from communities that have not yet been represented in the Academy will be prioritized for the 2021-2022 class. 

First Five Nebraska is committed to promoting the well-being and positive outcomes of all children and families regardless of race, ethnicity or culture. We welcome and strongly encourage Academy applicants who can contribute a diversity of experiences and perspectives to our program

How to Apply